World (The Times Groupe)- Doctors have warned that Monkeypox could severely affect access to sexual health services. Sexual contact
Clinic staff are already being quarantined if they have come in contact with anyone who is infected.
Some sexual health clinics in London have stopped allowing people to walk in altogether, where most of the 20 cases have been identified.
According to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, other infections may also be affected.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports about 80 cases of Monkeypox in at least 12 countries, a mild disease that is rare outside Central and West Africa.
Several infections have been confirmed in Italian, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, American, and Canadian cities, as well as the United Kingdom – where the first European case was confirmed.
Another 50 suspected cases are under investigation, according to the WHO.
Monkeypox can be spread through close contact with an infected individual. The virus can enter the body through broken skin, the nose, eyes, or mouth.
There was no prior description of it as a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be transmitted through direct contact during sex.
In the UK, the most recent cases have been in homosexual and bisexual men, prompting the UK Health Security Agency to urge men who have sex with men to be on the lookout for unusual rashes or lesions.
If they have concerns, they should contact their local sexual health service.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Transmission of Monkeypox virus occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). Animal-to-human transmission may occur by bite or scratch, bush meat preparation, direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, or indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated bedding. Human-to-human transmission is thought to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required. Other human-to-human methods of transmission include direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, and indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated clothing or linens.”